DISCLAIMER: If I owned Pokemon, HR wouldn't be fanfiction. And also, there would be no need for disclaimers.
Well, well, it seems Fanfiction here is in need of a saviour. Here you go: a fic from me! This is an adaptation of games that, oddly, do not exist (yet). The games in question are the remakes of Ruby and Sapphire that I'm sure we were all expecting to come out in the fifth generation; unfortunately, they didn't, and I'm here to fix that. In short, this is a journeyfic set in Hoenn.
The story is also on FanFiction.Net and Serebii.Net's forums. If you really want to read it on another site for whatever reason, read it on Serebii - I rarely go back and edit chapters on FFN because of how clunky their system is. Serebii is usually the most up-to-date; I post there first, most of the time.
Summary: A retelling of the Hoenn-based third gen games, Ruby and Emerald (not Sapphire, though!). Norman is in hiding in Hoenn, his daughter is on her Pokemon journey and no one knows who exactly Slade is. Features three things Pokemon really needs more of: bounty hunters, crazed tax collectors, and plot.
Rating: T/PG-15 for frequent mild swearing (hell, sh*t and the like), infrequent strong swearing (you may see a few F-bombs, but not many), violence (significantly more realistic than cartoon violence, read: people will blow up) and blood.
WARNING: This fic comes pre-packaged several factors the Pokemon world and games should have but doesn't, examples being bounty hunters, crazed tax collectors and, most importantly, plot. It also twists around events from the games and adds in some more significant characters to the story. At times, it ignores (and occasionally, blatantly spits in the face of) Established Canon A, all the while hypocritically alluding to Established Canon B.
On a more serious note, the author's notes at the end of most chapters are basically long, worldbuilding based insights into my mind. No like, no read.
To be added, simply reply to the thread or VM me requesting that I do so, and lo and behold! your username shall appear here.
Prologue: "Hoenn Reborn"
Chapter 1: "Hoenn Sweet AAAAAAAAAAHHH!1!" - Part I
Chapter 2: "Hoenn Sweet AAAAAAAAAAHHH!1!" - Part II
Chapter 3: "The Zigzagoon Platoon vs A Scientific Buffoon"
Chapter 4: "Of Mudkip and Men"
Chapter 5: "so i herd u batle PKMN TRAINERZ?"
Chapter 6: "Random Encounters of the Pokemon Kind"
(Chapter 7 is currently the most recent on all other sites.)
/ Prologue /
the Hoenn region ~ 4:00 PM [four days ahead of Chapter 1]
Lush green tropical forests. Vast, blistering deserts. Bleak, smoking volcanic mountains. Small mountainside towns with volcanic ash raining down. Sprawling industrial ports with shipyards and ferries. Huge, azure seas dotted with archipelagos and lone islands.
This was the region of Hoenn.
The man in the plane surveyed the scenery below impassively, ignoring the slight rocking of turbulence, as his lone companion in the cabin of the small private jet growled a little in response to the force of the air. Ignoring the small, feral reptile, he pressed the intercom button by the mahogany table he was seated at. A crackly female voice replied, "Yes, Mr Slade?"
"Where are we, and how long before we reach our ... location?" There was a short pause, before the woman replied, "We're currently over the sea by Pacifidlog Town, Mr Slade. It'll take an hour to arrive, at least."
'Mr Slade' released the intercom button and glanced at the beast in the corner - it was now scratching itself with its short claws. "Alright then, Fenrir," he muttered. "I think I should do it now." He lifted a small briefcase from between his legs and opened it. Inside was a flat video screen. Unfolding an antenna from the side, he hit a button on the briefcase. The screen immediately lit up, displaying a crackling, low-quality image of a tall, grey-haired man in a suit. He sat in a high-backed chair, and wore a grey, opaque visor that prevented Slade from seeing any of his face but his mouth.
"Well, Mr Slade," the man in the chair said. "How goes the mission?"
"I'm en route to Rustboro City," said Mr Slade. The frequency he was now broadcasting on was encrypted, and so he could speak freely. "As agreed, we will meet in three days."
"Excellent," his employer said, but his tone suggested boredom. "The bounty remains at a price of two hundred and fifty thousand Hoennian dollars, also as agreed."
With a curt nod, Slade sheathed the antenna. The message "NO SIGNAL" flashed onscreen, until he pressed the power button as well. And with that, Slade leaned back and fell asleep.
A small house overlooking the rest of the city, with only three people in it. A peaceful house.
An obviously furious man stormed through the villa, his red leather jacket flapping in the cold mountain wind. His right hand was clenched in a fist; his left, he ran through his sparse, coarse black hair.
"Goddamn," Norman Ruby muttered to himself. "First they fire me from the Gym for not paying 'trainer taxes' - whatever they are - and now they're trying to evict me? Taxes, taxes, taxes, I'm sick of 'em all!" He collapsed into an armchair and a worried expression took his face. "Damn! The tax officers will probably be looking out for me now ..." The doorbell rang, and, still worried, Norman opened the door. An old man stood at the doorstep, leaning on a cane. He wore a long blue coat, and a long white scarf hung loose around his neck, flapping weakly in the breeze.
"You!" thundered Norman, his expression returning to its previous fury. "How dare you show your face in my house after what you did!"
The old man's poker face gave away nothing. He replied, "I did nothing with intent to harm. All I did was inform the League that you haven't paid your trainer taxes for the past three quarters - merely my duty as Gym Leader."
"I always knew you had it in for me, Townsend," growled Norman. "Get out!"
"If you wish so," Pryce W Townsend replied. "But I merely came to warn you that the League has finally sentenced you."
"Sentence?" Norman laughed bitterly. "The League is in shambles! One week after defeating the Oak boy, our Champion has resigned to go off to Mount Silver of all places - and just a few days after we discover that one of our most respected Gym Leaders is an underworld don, a gangster, a - a criminal mastermind! Now they've appointed the most egotistical man in the whole region to act as Champion! What's next? Your retirement?"
"Hardly," Pryce snorted. "But, as per my duty, I must inform you that you've been sentenced to immediate relocation."
"Where to?" the younger man snapped. "Viridian needs a Gym Leader after all. Or perhaps they've delegated me back to a normal trainer and they're going to make me go to Oak for a Bulbasaur?"
Pryce's face lost composure, and for an instant, a sly, malevont smirk appeared on the old man's visage. Then he reasserted his blandness. "Hard to have a conversation at your doorstep, isn't it?"
A few minutes later, the two men were seated at a small coffee table. Norman had claimed his favourite armchair; Pryce had perched his weary old body upon a humble stool. Both were staring intensely at each other, as Pryce finished explaining Norman's sentence.
"That's career suicide," said Norman, his expression one of horror.
"Moving to New Bark Town," Pryce replied, "is not career suicide. Career suicide is being delegated to Violet City. New Bark is perfect!"
"New Bark," Norman said, "is a ghost town. Nobody except Elm lives there, and we all know how he is. Besides, I refuse to be appointed Gym Leader in that ... place!" He spat the last word, unable to find a suitably derogatory description for the eastern-most town in Johto.
"Oh, you're not Gym Leader," Pryce said amicably. "The League has revoked your trainer's license."
"Then ... then ..." Norman was shocked speechless.
Pryce allowed himself a smile. "I know what you must be thinking. Your trainer's license is your life. But it's not. You can live peacefully, happily. Think of it as retiring early."
"Almost three decades early," Norman protested.
Pryce's smile vanished, his tone becoming serious. "Damn it, boy! Accept your punishment!"
The previously docile man stood up, his face darkening. At slightly over six feet tall and almost a hundred and ninety pounds, Norman Ruby was an impressive man. "Get," he snarled, "out of my house." And with that he strode to the door and pulled it open. Pryce sighed in annoyance and walked away. As the old man walked down the mountain path, his parting words drifted up to Norman: "You'll have to give in some time ..."
Norman took a deep breath as he considered his situation. Right, so last month, I finally qualified to be a Gym Leader. But Townsend didn't like having to retire, so he did a little snooping, and found a tiny clause somewhere that says I should have paid some tax for being a Gym Trainer. He reports it to the League. They do nothing, seeing as they were dealing with the Rockets around that time. A few weeks later, this small-town boy suddenly manages to single-handedly bring down Giovanni's criminal empire and expose him as the leader of the Rockets. After Giovanni is officially fired, aforementioned boy goes on to win the League by defeating then Champion, Gary Oak (who, surprisingly, is also from the same town). This results in a fiasco, since Oak was only Champion for six hours. One week later, this Champion - again, the small-town boy - suddenly resigns, citing huge stress levels as the reason. Then, the League appoints Elite Four member Lance as the next Champion. Lance, being the meticulous prick he is, personally goes through the records and finds out about my tax problems. Now Lance wants my trainer's license revoked so that he can force me into retirement into New Bark Town, way off the beaten path. All because of a hidden clause.
"Damn this all," groaned Norman, seeing no hope for salvation. "What to do now ..." He sank deeper into his armchair, grabbing desperately at the nearest thing he could find, which turned out to be a newspaper. He picked it up, folded it, creased the edges, unfolded it, and was about to fold it again, when his eyes darted to a single article.
"'Formerly the venerable Gym Leader of Viridian City and regarded as the most formidable trainer in the United Republic Regions of Kanto and Johto'," Norman read aloud, "'Giovanni di Sols was found guilty', blah blah, 'over two hundred criminal charges of extortion', blah blah, 'Team Rocket' ..." His eyes roved over the paper. "'Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the URR amended his life sentence to' ... two years of exile? 'Bribery', blah blah - 'earlier this week, Giovanni revealed that several years ago, his infant son was given up for adoption' ... No, that's not it. Here it is!" Norman's tone grew exulted as he finally found the section he wanted. "'Former Rocket executive John Petrel's diary has revealed that other executives sought political asylum in various other regions including the Sevii Archipelago and Hoenn."
Finally, Norman smiled. He'd found a way out of this mess.